Welsh Labour calls off party conference ahead of expected Covid peak

Elliot Chappell

Welsh Labour has called off its party conference due to concerns over an expected peak of coronavirus cases and the pressure on the health service this autumn.

In a statement issued by the Welsh executive committee today, the governing body said it had considered “the practical action we can take to limit the spread” of the virus and the already delayed conference would not take place.

Welsh Labour was due to hold its conference, which had been expected to attract around 1,000 attendees, in February this year but the normally annual event was postponed until November due to the pandemic.

The statement from the Welsh executive committee today stated: “The virus has not gone away, and all indications are that we should expect a peak in cases and subsequent pressure on health and social care services in the autumn.

“It has not been an easy decision, but we think it is the right one at this time. We apologise for any inconvenience caused as a result. Our full efforts will now turn to delivering Welsh Labour’s annual conference in March 2022.”

The party has not held an in-person conference since 2019. Last October, Welsh Labour hosted the ‘Welsh Labour Together‘ week-long series of events online instead of holding physical meetings.

The news comes ahead of UK Labour’s conference in Brighton, starting on Saturday and continuing into next week. Welsh Labour is now expected to hold its next conference in spring next year, between March 11th and 13th.

The latest figures released by Public Health Wales, released today, showed a further 17 deaths and 5,258 new Covid cases. This takes the total number of confirmed cases to 328,074, while 5,814 people have died after contracting the virus.

Mark Drakeford warned earlier this month that Covid cases were at their highest rate since December last year after having risen steadily since June, when the Delta variant arrived in the devolved nation.

The First Minister announced last week that people in Wales will need to show a pass, proving either that they have been fully vaccinated or that they have had a negative Covid test, to attend clubs and large events.

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